Thursday 22 December 2011

So the Dutch do have cycle gear

They don't wear it often but the Dutch do have cycle gear! When the rain comes pouring down the Dutch suddenly show they can dress up for cycling. But of course, as with everything regarding cycling in the Netherlands the kind of gear to protect from the rain is perfectly suited for everyday upright cycling.

While some people ignore the rain, most come prepared. Not always too obvious: you can just see that the man with the hat in the center wears rain pants over his light coloured pants. The man on the far right wears rain pants over his blue jeans while riding a rental bike! He really came prepared!

All sorts of rain capes are worn by men and women, sometimes combined with rain pants as well.

Rain suits come in all colours. The pedestrian on the far right has already geared up on his way to his bicycle.

Some people rely on umbrellas, but you can question how usefull they are. The guy who stole the pink umbrella from his girlfriend doesn't really seem protected, but that's because he broke it.
While most people use their umbrellas over their heads, some try to keep their legs dry.
All these people can be seen in the video I shot during morning rush hour in Utrecht last week. It was one of the few mornings that the rain really came pouring down, which doesn't happen all too often*.

What also becomes very clear from this video is that there are many pedestrians in the Netherlands. From my videos some people get the impression that the Dutch don't walk, but that is not true. You often don't see pedestrians because these two types of traffic are also mostly separated from each other. Just like cycling is not combined with motorised traffic. Here the two flows of traffic, pedestrians and cyclists, do meet and it shows.

The main conclusion that can be drawn from this video: most of the Dutch do not stop cycling for a bit of rain. And they don't really have to in a country where it is even safe to cycle with misted up glasses and holding an umbrella with one hand.

This is my last post of the year.
I wish you all Fijne Kerstdagen en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar
(a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!).

* On the site [translated] "it hardly ever rains" a man debunks the myth that it always rains in the Netherlands. After counting his rides for three years they turn out to be wet in only 11.99% of the time. He counts all rain, so the times that it really pours are even less.


Paul Martin said...

Great post, Mark. :)

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to both you, David and your families.



Kevin Love said...

It hardly every rains??!!

The war diary of The Royal Regiment of Canada records that it rained every day in April 1945.

My grandfather and I both served in The Royals; he fought in The Battle of Groningen in a drizzle of rain.

It became a family idiom that when there was a long spell of light on-and-off rain he would say "The weather is being very Dutch today."

Fortunately, nobody was shooting at me when I was last in NL, but there was plenty of rain.

Jim Moore said...

But of course the Dutch cycle in the rain. After all, they're not made of sugar!

Thanks for a great year of posts to all involved in "A View"...the best cycling blog in the world!!!

Joseph said...

Thank you for this video. I have seen a few videos of Copenhagen in winter, but not much of the Netherlands in bad weather. It will be helpful to show this to people in Portland. The committed core of "cyclists" here, about 1% of the population, has "gear" and will ride in any weather, including the frequent rain, but another 5% ride in fair weather. If our roads and streets had more subjective safety, and more separation from cars, more people would feel comfortable riding in the rain. There's nothing like being splashed by a big truck, passing inches from your shoulder, to disuade someone from riding in the rain.

michael said...

Fijne Kerstdagen en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar to you both.
Thank you for your informative and entertaining posts over the last year. Michael.

Theo Z said...

I like to make a nuance for "it hardly ever rains" (het regent bijna nooit).
He's reporting this for his daily commuting routes. Not the whole day!
He wanted to make his colleges clear that they could go as well by bike, because 'it hardly ever rains'.

And a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to you all!

Michael S said...

"Frohe Weihnachten und ein Glückliches Neues Jahr" to you and your family and all readers of this great blog.

Slow Factory said...

Umbrellas provide subjective dryness.

Chafed said...

Brought back good memories of bicycling in Utrecht. Best wishes to you and yours in 2012.

Anonymous said...

I don't doubt that it rained every day in April '45. It did not, however, rain all day, every day in April '45. It's quite conceivable that it only rained for only, say, 10% of the time during that month, and most of the rain is just a miserable drizzle that wouldn't get you drenched even if you caught the entire day's worth of rain.